Tar and Abby

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Yes. Yes, you did just see a kangaroo...

— Is that a kangaroo on the highway?
Many motorists on Interstate 182 in Pasco were probably asking themselves that as they rubbed their eyes to make sure they weren’t hallucinating Saturday morning.
Pasco police did get calls around 7 a.m. about a kangaroo loose around Road 68, but officers couldn’t find it initially, Sgt. Ben Majetich said.
When the animal got to I-182, however, drivers started called 911 and the chase was on.
Pasco officers and Washington State Patrol troopers spent about two hours trying to corral the marsupial as it hopped around on the highway, in the median and crossed back and forth, he said.
“That thing’s pretty fast. It’s about 3 1/2 feet high,” Majetich said. “Our main concern was obviously the traffic.”
There were several near-crashes with vehicles swerving around trying to avoid the animal.
“You’re driving down the road minding your own business, what’s the last thing you expect to see along the highway?” he said.
Officers finally got a hold of the owner, who lives on Road 68, and the owner was able to catch the animal near Road 84 and Chapel Hill Boulevard, Majetich said.
“I’ve chased livestock and deer, but I’ve never chased a kangaroo,” Majetich said. “I hope it’s the last.”

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/06/30/2006410/pasco-cops-hop-to-call-of-loose.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Raised Ponding

These floating plants are water hyacinth. They bloom with big purple spikes. Loves them.
They are also a favorite with labradors. They pop when chewed. Even the old lady labradors used to fish them out and pop them. So up on the table they go in their bucket. Water hyacinths are a noxious plant in the South but a seasonal treat here in the North where they don't survive the winter.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

your morning snozzle

Tarfus Aurelius Dofus Tarzana Snozzle Stoner Duuuuuude

Monday, June 25, 2012

Outrages in Suburbia

When our neighbor cuts down a tree, or bushes, they leave a tall stump.

Today a flamingo showed up on the new stump...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

These people haven't met Abby...

 (I feel their pain!)

An unexpected passenger aboard the International Space Station is sick and could die.

"I am afraid that if something is not done we are going to lose Sunflower," US astronaut Don Pettit wrote on May 5. "Our spacecraft is designed for animals so life can be a struggle for plants."

The sunflower in question, which Pettit has been trying to grow in the ISS, is afflicted with a fungal blight that has spotted its leaves. This ailment has afflicted other sunflowers grown in space: In 1982 in preparation for a space experiment called HEFLEX (see below), space sunflowers suffered a similar blight. Back then NASA adopted sterilization techniques, and the fungus did not reappear when the experiment flew in 1983.

I loves that they call this MAGIC!

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke

"Tin, a material whose name is sometimes synonymous with "dull," has a secret side that's extraordinary, physicists say.
Scientists have succeeded in creating a new type of tin atom with "magic" properties and in studying it in more detail than ever before.
The nuclei of normal tin atoms are made of 50 protons and 62 neutrons, creating a stable substance called tin-112 (or 112Sn, which is the chemical symbol for tin).
However, scientists can make a special version of tin with exactly 50 protons and 50 neutrons, creating a "doubly magic" atom with equal numbers of its nucleus' ingredients."

Full article here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gardener Dog Strikes Again!

Abby, Gardener Dog, has a thing against sunflowers. This little one was about to bloom. The first one of the summer. Alas, I found its head ripped off and spit out upon the deck. Abby, Gardener Dog, does not approve of flowers blooming without her approval.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Project Runway - the book!

The Show That Changed Fashion..... (?-really)
(Interesting note - the book is published by Weinstein Books - who also published book of
note - Raquel Welch: Beyond the Cleavage) 

Hyperbole from Amazon's page
*Project Runway, the groundbreaking reality television series, premiered in 2004. Ten seasons into its run comes the official guide behind the scenes of a television and fashion landmark. In this book, fully illustrated with hundreds of photos, fans will learn how the show began and developed over the years, relive the highlights of seasons past, and learn what their favorite designers are doing today. The book will feature commentary from Heidi Klum throughout, as well as interviews with the people behind the scenes, top designers of ten seasons, and stars of the show: workroom mentor Tim Gunn and judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, and Michael Kors. This is the ultimate source for all things Project Runway.*

Link to pre-order book, due out July 10.

Question - whose dresses are behind Heidi? I spot Austin's corn peel dress. Next to it is a top that someone made for Nina? The other two I'm drawing a blank on.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In the Gobsmacked Catagory

"In the ‘you-can’t-make-up-this-stuff’ category, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is spending about $1.1 million to develop a way to physiologically measure how engaged students are by their teachers’ lessons. This involves “galvanic skin response” bracelets that kids would wear so their engagement levels could be measured."

You know it is just a short step to zapping the students into attention...

Full story here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

elementary STEM school?

Seattle is planning an elementary STEM school - heavy on the science, technology, engineering and math. (Still having to hit the standards for language arts and social studies, etc.) I'm not sure what I think about this. We recently opened a STEM high school here after all the kids graduated. I think Eldest and GB would have applied to attend it.
Another article, can't find the link at the moment, revealed that companies are aggressively courting science and engineering students at colleges in the state. Microsoft called GB as a sophomore. I can see, especially in this climate, the appeal of getting your child in on the ground floor.
On the other hand...
What do you all think? Educators? Parents? Is there going to be anyone left to uphold the written and visual arts? (Degree in Communications here who has made a meager living with the written word.)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dogs can climb trees!

Abby so wants to do this.
Picture from pet section of our paper. Maxx climbing a tree in pursuit of (what else?)
a squirrel.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

that'll show 'em!

 Local crop circle in wheat field, 1993

Friday, June 8, 2012

Do you have your seat-belt on??

This picture in today's paper with a headline that reads '133 seat-belt violators get tickets'.
Holy Police Dog! (who looks like Action Jackson, Dog of Adventure)
The first 3/4s of the article is all about the evils of not wearing your seat-belt, which is an important issue, but honestly guns? police dog?
Turn the page, read some more and at the end of the article - oh, they were hunting a fellow who led them on a car chase and then bailed.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Mad Scientist Chronicles

From this article

"Yet during this period of national "mediocrity," we created Silicon Valley,  built multinational biotechnology firms, and continued to lead the world in scientific journal publications and total number of Nobel Prize winners. We also invented and sold more than a few iPads. Obviously, standardized tests aren't everything.
Additionally, the latest study released by Universitas 21, a global network of research universities, concluded that the United States ranks No. 1 in the world in higher education — a metric that partially relies on scientific research output. (Sweden came in a distant second.)
And what about big scary China? Adult science literacy there is a paltry 3% compared with the U.S. at 28%. In short, our overall science performance isn't too shabby for a country that has supposedly neglected science education for years."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Never let a little rain keep a doggy

from her appointed rounds. With so many helicopters flying around, protecting the cherry orchards, Abby has had a busy day supervising.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Or you could just ask a cat...

A bunch of Mad Scientists submitted, in their opinion, some of the greatest mysteries yet to be solved - my favorites -

Dark Energy, which appears to make up 73% of everything that exists, and still it can’t be seen, or even measured. The energy is 'needed' to balance out the mathematics of the universe, but may not ever be able to be detected.

 What re-ionized the universe? For a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang, electrons were stripped from atoms - we have no idea why. 

 What is the source of the most energetic cosmic rays? We’re bombarded with them every day, yet researchers can’t agree on where they come from. Our atmosphere shields us from most of the rays.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Dog Alert - it's a helicopter!

We live close to many cherry orchards. One thing that surprised me, when we moved here, is the use of helicopters to dry the orchards during a rain. Spring is full of the sounds of helicopters flying about. They are also used to spray. The dogs always run out to spot the helicopter. Not sure why they have them placed in the category of squirrels, cats, herons and magpies but they are.

Friday, June 1, 2012

doggy water solution #4

The planned shade for the deck went the way of vet bills of $6k for Labrador Heidi. Since these Labradors can cover the entire kitchen floor with slurps of water they have been moved to the deck. I was freezing water in the bowls which Abby removes and brings into the house to chew. So I went to trays of ice cubes. She will eat the entire tray before it melts. So I spend my days managing the water bowls.
Yesterday I bought this four gallon gravity fed dish. I can hide all the ice cubes in the reservoir! Clever dog owner! GB took one look at it and asked, "Do you know how much 4 gallons water weighs, Mom?" Um.... no. To the google! About 34+ pounds. And you have to flip the thing, while full, to put in it on. ak. It does have a filter thingy so all the water doesn't dump out at once.
This morning we experimented - I can handle about 2 gallons. But I did get the ice cubes in and Abby stared at them, unable to get to them and hopefully the whole thing will stay colder.
Next plan #5 will be to manufacture some shade somewhere. Right now I have a deck chair in front of it with a towel.